Chandigarh, October 18, 2023 : As per media reports, Governor Punjab Banwarilal Purohit has raised objections to the two GST amendment Bills sent to him by the state’s Aam Aadmi Party government for approval.
These money Bills are to be tabled in the upcoming Punjab Vidhan Sabha special sitting, scheduled to begin on Friday.
The Governor has already declared the session as being “bound to be illegal and all business to be conducted during the session as unlawful”. His contention has been that the Fourth Budget Session of the Vidhan Sabha had been adjourned sine die in March this year, and the extension of the session by calling special sittings is “illegal”.
The state government, on the other hand, says the special sittings of the House are legal and the Vidhan Sabha Speaker can convene a sitting of the House anytime, between the House adjournment and before its prorogation.
The other Amendment Bill requires the approval of the Governor in order to be notified so that an Appellate Authority can be set up. The sources said this amendment being enacted now in the GST Act was recommended in the Finance Bill passed by the Lok Sabha in March.
The Bill seeks a GST Appellate Tribunal In the state in order to settle all GST-related disputes. Punjab is among the 11 states that have so far not set up the state Appellate Authority.
According to the news published in The Tribune, the Governor had raised objections to the Bills asking why there was an inordinate delay in getting one amendment approved from the Punjab Vidhan Sabha when one of these amendments had been approved by the GST Council in July this year and the other was approved by the Lok Sabha in March this year.
Confirming this, sources in the state Finance Department said the Governor had also sought a clarification on why the proceedings of the GST Council meeting held in July were not appended with the file sent for his approval.
This objection has been raised in the case of the Bill seeking an amendment to the GST Act to allow the government to impose 28 per cent GST on online gaming.
“If the Bill is not cleared, it will cause a financial loss to both the state and the Central Government. On our part, we will be clearing his objections by sending clarifications to the Governor on Thursday morning itself,” said a senior functionary in Finance Department. This amended GST Act is to come into force from October 1, which gives the government a right ’o impose 28 per cent GST on online gaming.